Here are 10 things you should know in market news today.
German retail sales were mixed in April.Sales rose 1.7% from March — analysts had expected a 0.8% boost on the month after March’s 2.3% slump. However, revisions meant that sales only rose 1% year-on-year, instead of the 2.5% expected.
The US economy probably contracted in the first three months of 2015. The government is expected to report on Friday that gross domestic product shrank at a 0.8% annual rate instead of growing at the 0.2% pace it estimated last month.
PM David Cameron’s whirlwind tour of European leaders began. France wants Britain to remain in the European Union, President Francois Hollande said on Thursday after talks with UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who insisted the status quo in Europe was “not good enough”.
Japanese inflation beat expectations slightly. Core CPI, that which excludes fresh food prices, increased by 0.3% in the 12 months to April, beating expectations for an increase of 0.2%.
Fed policymaker Narayana Kocherlakota says he regrets not being more persuasive on interest rates. A US interest rate hike this year would be a mistake, Kocherlakota said on Thursday, and would represent a missed opportunity to boost employment and too-low inflation in an economy that has plenty of room to grow.
Gazprom announce Ukraine’s total bill. Russian natural gas producer Gazprom put Ukraine’s total gas debt at almost $US29.5 billion (£19.24 billion) on Thursday, ratcheting up pressure in a gas pricing dispute with the country, which is fighting a pro-Moscow rebellion on its eastern outskirts.
Chinese stocks slumped at the open. After initially rallying close to one per cent the Shanghai Composite did an abrupt U-turn, dropping close to 5% from its session high — all this in just the first hour of trade. Given Thursday’s decline, that meant an 11% correction in just two sessions.
But Asian markets are now up. The Shanghai Composite rallied back, showing how volatile the index is, now up 0.72%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is up 0.27%, and Japan’s Nikkei is also up 0.27%.
The European Commission is looking into an Uber complaint about France. The European Commission said on Thursday it had asked Paris for more information on a new French law on taxis and chauffeured cars following a complaint from mobile phone taxi-booking service Uber.
Eurozone private lending figures are coming. At 10 a.m. London time (5 a.m. ET) figures for private lending in the year to April will be released. Analysts are expecting a 0.2% increase, after the measure moved into positive territory for the first time in two and a half years recently.